There are so many ways to make your own crackers. I never buy crackers anymore because I like to make my crackers raw, organic, wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. One of the first things I learned how to make when I took my raw food chef training was raw crackers and since then have made dozens upon dozens of different kinds of raw crackers. Crackers make great transitional foods, and just because they’re raw, doesn’t mean we should eat them by the dozen! With nuts or seeds as the base (most people are not aware that nuts and seeds are mostly 60-70% fat), they are still calorically dense and should therefore constitute a small percentage of your daily food intake. I mention this because it is quite easy for people to switch to a raw food diet and consume massive quantities of fats due to many of these high-fat “gourmet raw” food meals. No matter how ‘good’ the fat is, too much fat is too much fat. I recommend taking Doug Grahams advice, author of The 80/10/10 Diet and try to keep your fat intake below 10% of daily calories. That being said, transitioning to these crackers from any kind of store-bought cracker is one big step in the right direction!
The easy thing to understand with raw dehydrated crackers is that there’s a simply basic core ‘recipe’ to follow and use as a guideline and from there you can add whatever culinary flare you like. With a little practice you’ll see how easy it is to mix and match different ingredients to make the cracker that you love the most.
Raw Pumpkin Seed Pumpkin Cracker Recipe
Essential Kitchen Equipment
For this raw food recipe, what you will need is a food processor and a dehydrator – essential kitchen tools for the living food lifestyle. This recipe will make about 10-12 trays of crackers, and could easily be cut in half for a smaller batch. This was a huge batch of cookies! Mostly just because I was working with the size of pumpkin that I had…a rather large one!
- Soak about 6 cups of green pumpkin seeds for 4-8 hours. (Note: I’m not talking about the pumpkin seeds inside the pumpkin! I’m referring to those green pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas that you can buy at your local health food store.) You have to time this so that the pumpkin seeds are ready to go for when you want to make the batch of crackers. I usually soak mine at night and wake up the next morning and start working on my recipes. If you’re not used to working with timing of soaking nuts and seeds, don’t worry, it will get easier and become second nature.
- Soak 1.75 – 2 cups of flaxseed in double the amount of water. First thing I do when I start preparing the crackers is soak my flaxseed. Flax only needs to soak for about an hour, so if you soak it right away, by the time you’re done processing all the pumpkin and mixing in the rest of the ingredients, the flax will be ready to add in as the last ingredient before the final stir.
- For this recipe, the pumpkin I used was about 4 pounds. After I removed the skin and seed, it came to about 2.9 – 3 pounds.
- Start processing the pumpkin in the food processor (I use a 14 cup processor), in smaller batches until pumpkin is smooth.
- Once all the pumpkin is pureed, place it all in a large bowl. It’s ok if it has some texture, but you don’t want any big chunks.
- Put aside 1-2 cups of pumpkin seeds and process the rest in the food processor. We want to save some whole ones to add in to the batch for texture and also to be able to have a nice pumpkin seed ‘identifier’ for visually aesthetic purposes.
- Process the pumpkin seeds until they’re as smooth as you can get them. This may take a little bit of working with or you can add a little bit of water, just a touch, to help it process along further. Again, having a little texture is fine, but you do want them to be mostly processed down.
- Mix all together in a bowl then add in (where T = tablespoon and t = teaspoon):
- 1 T turmeric
- 2 T curry powder
- 3 T cumin
- 3 T coriander
- 2 T lemon pepper (or regular pepper if you like)
- 3 t garlic powder
- 1 T paprika
Mix everything together and add in the rest of your whole pumpkin seeds. You have to use your intuitive sense here. If it already looks like you have quite a bit of texture, then add less whole pumpkin seeds and give them a quick grind in the food processor. If your batch is quite smooth then add in the 1-2 cups of wholes. It will make the crackers look very nice.
Now add in your flax seed. Flax acts like a ‘gel’ to hold it all together. So mix it in as well as you can.
Once you have a nice consistency, start to spread on teflex sheets with an offset spatula (I like to use the Ateco offset spatula), on the dehydrator trays, about 1/4 of an inch thick. You need to spread them quite thin, but a lot of people tend to overshoot and spread too thin. Leave a little room for them to shrink down in the dehydrator, because it’s nice to have a bit of a sturdier cracker to use for dipping and such. Getting your cracker thickness right will come with practice. Play with it, it’s all one big fun experiment! As a guideline shoot for 1/4 inch on the high end.
Place the trays in the dehydrator, (I recommend the excalibur dehydrator) at about 150 degrees for the first hour then down to 115 for the remainder of the time. After about 3-4 hours, they should be ready to flip. Flipping is super easy. If you have an extra tray, simply place it on top of your crackers and flip the tray, and then the reflex sheet should be on top ( essentially flipping the cracker upside down) and then peel off the sheet. Place them back in the dehydrator until they’re nice a crispy, should be at least another 4-6 hours at 115 or until sufficiently crispy! If you don’t have an extra tray, if you’ve filled all them up, then a nice little trick is to slide one of the sheets off the tray onto the counter and use that tray to continuously flip the next tray. When you get to the last one, just try to quickly and gently flip the teflex sheet on the last tray with your hands. I’ve done it many times before and if usually fairs pretty well.
These are really tasty raw dehydrated crackers and with all the raw food recipes I post, have fun with them and play with all the different variations that suit your fancy. It’s all about experimenting with different ways to be as creative as you want.
Hope you enjoy!
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,